By BBC/Evelyne Wareh
An online retailer has withdrawn a Halloween costume inspired by Kim Kardashian West’s recent robbery ordeal, following a backlash.
The Parisian Heist Robbery Victim Costume Kit does not name the 35-year-old social media personality. But it features a Kardashian lookalike dressed in a white robe and sporting a giant ring.
She was tied up by gun-wielding robbers who broke into a hotel flat in the French capital this month, police say. The robbers made off with jewellery worth about $10m (£8m), including a sparkler that she displayed on her Snapchat account before the heist. The costume description said: “She has devoted her life to promoting American decadence, youth, and hedonism but all that flashy living caught up with her one night in Paris when armed men bound her, stole her jewelry and her peace of mind.”
The $70 (£57) outfit also featured a black wig, black sunglasses, a fake gag and a length of rope. Johnathon Weeks, founder of online retailer Costumeish, told Time Magazine that Kardashian West was not mentioned by name for legal reasons.
“It’ll make people either cringe or laugh,” he said, adding that the outfit was intended to provoke a strong response from customers.
“My deepest sympathy goes out to the family. No one really deserves to go through what she did. We’re not mocking her,” he continued.
Following a social media outcry, the company’s Twitter account announced on that Tuesday the costume had been pulled and apologised if it “offended anyone”.
Kardashian West is also suing a celebrity gossip website for claiming she faked the robbery. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for defamation and names both the site, MediaTakeout, and its founder, Fred Mwangaguhunga.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in New York said that after being “the victim of a horrific and traumatic armed robbery in France, Kim Kardashian returned to the US only to again be victimised, but this time by an online gossip tabloid that published a series of articles in early October 2016 referring to her as a liar and thief”.
The articles, it said, “claimed, without any factual support whatsoever, that Kardashian faked the robbery, lied about the violent assault, and then filed a fraudulent claim with her insurance company to bilk her carrier out of millions of dollars”.
Mr Mwangaguhunga refused to publish a retraction and an apology “for calling her a liar and a criminal”, the lawsuit added. MediaTakeout has so far not commented.
The mother-of-two, who is married to rapper Kanye West, became a household name thanks to the reality TV series Keeping up with the Kardashians.